Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Hey, here we are again. Like mentioned in the previous blog, our focus is now on the sculpts of the sphinx Sol Ange and the super inventions, and on original artwork for the constellation cards. As a bonus we thought: if we are taking such lengths for the deluxe version, why not upgrading the planet sculpts into their individual identity version, while strengthening the pedestal between planet and base and finetuning the movement space between Jupiter and Saturn. In the prototype version, there were some issues with the minis in stability and close approach positions. Furthermore, in comparison to the lunar module, character and instrument sculpts, the first planet versions were a bit dull.
As a science educator I also had the irresistible urge to showcase the tilted axes of the planets, especially the one from Earth, the base of initial observations. The axis and equator was added to showcase the relationship with the star map's ecliptic and seasonal starting points. Only the distance and diameter scales were impossible to portray. As a compromise, we added the main features of planets and their tilted status on the ecliptic plain. We also added the planet symbol underneath the base to match with the positions on the board in case you are colour blind or if you don't know the planet main feature for the setup. I am still pondering over whether we would add a main colour to the planets, or whether we would provide them with base rings with their main colours. Let us know what you think below!
Diego has started with the drawing of the constellation series. The first few can be found here.
Constellation art by Diego Sanchez (Armillary Games)
The Orrery super invention was discussed in 'Super Inventions as our big guns' and is the instrument that teaches us the relation between the star map of an armillary sphere and the separate movements and positions along the ecliptic plain. Ana made the sculpt in a way that you can remove the top piece, illustrating the ecliptic in an angle of 23°26' with the equator, also visible on the planet Earth sculpt.
The Philosopher's Orrery miniature by Ana Román (Tiny Factory)
Then we have the overview of the planets. Rather than working with realistic photography on this scale, we choose to make caricatures with the main features of the planet, like Olympus Mons, Vales Marineris, cloud bands, main craters, storms and tilted axes. And yes all gas planets have rings, even Jupiter. The Jovian rings however are so thin and difficult to detect from Earth in visible light, that IR and micrometre radio wave technology are needed to detect most of the sun light reflection (albedo) on it. And to keep it large, we didn't add Jovian rings.
Also the Sea Clock super invention was discussed in 'Super Inventions as our big guns'. Here you can enjoy the combination of Ana's skilful craftsmanship and my scrutiny for important details to intersect feasible production with a certain amount of realism for this context.
Harrison's Sea Clock miniature by Ana Román (Tiny Factory)
The rulebook is starting to get full attention. Some 'work in progress' images can be seen below while using the slider arrow. I have decided to prepare the rulebook with the standard component as to have a good eye on quality components as well, even if it is the economic standard version. The newest TableTopia versions will reflect the so called 'retail version' of the game first, without the solo or seasonal module (Campaign exclusives). The basic rulebook will therefore only cover First & Fast, Constellation and Solar System modules. The exclusive modules will will enter in a separate rulebook later.
Rulebook excerpts by Vincent Verhoeven (Armillary Games)
Miniatures of Sol Ange and claw corrections
Sol Ange (included in solo and extensive module), our solar angel, will have a playable character miniature and an unlockable miniature with a super invention ability concerning the spherical astrolabe, and to be moved on the world map of the main board. Coming with the ability is a set of 7 pillars to potentially put on your player board continent-tile map, to indicate available landing zones.
The end result in miniature and illustration for all our pawed characters, like the Sol Ange, João Luna and Leo Maseko, will get a toe upgrade from three to five for the front legs and three to four for the rear legs as to better approach the anatomy of cats, leaving the path of cartoon paws.
Sphynx Sol Ange by Ana Román and Diego Sanchez (Tiny Factory/Armillary Games)
Demo playmat arrival
Wednesday I received the demonstrational playmat from Marcin at playmats.eu. And it is really stunning. We are both looking how they can help us deliver an add-on playmat for the game in the future, but in a smaller version without the player boards.
The following picture is just to showcase some prototype components, without the observation set and Luna tokens nor the continent tiles. Also notice that the vehicle die her is just a regular d6 for testing without the vehicle icons yet. Also the old version of the planets are used for this presentation. The d10s are also substitutes for the dials we have shown in 'Player board engineering'.
Demonstrational playmat with designs and art by Vincent Verhoeven, Guilhem Bedos, Diego Sanchez and miniature designs by Ana Román and Jeff McDowall (Armillary Games)
This miniature is probably the smallest of them all. The observatory will be placed on the world map of the main board during solo or extensive gaming. It replaces a location token that is part of our location board idea as described in 'Player board engineering'. This old observatory houses a secret map and a Brass EQ-telescope from 1880. The old tortoise Arman Cherepakha has witnessed the dramatic evolution of astronavigation from his beloved observatory, but now some new know-it-all foreigners seek to steal the map he deciphered to crack the code for efficient star navigation to the Moon.
After a successful campaign of this game, plans in the future for additional content like more special locations, action cards of stars, nebulae and galaxies, moon landing/base expansion lay on the table.
Please tell us what you think on Facebook or as a comment of this blog. Write to you later, on the next one!